What’s life like for a 13 year old and his grandparents on the road? And what the heck is a solar oven?
There are lots of young families travelling Australia at the moment, getting a life education for the children, and I dare say the parents as well. Which led me to wonder, how hard can it be?
Well, I’ve met a young bloke and his grandparents, who gave me some idea of what home schooling on the road is like.
My wife and I were setting up the van at Point Hughes in South Australia. It was just before the Queen’s birthday long weekend; we took a longer weekend than most and arrived on the Wednesday prior, so not many people were there yet.
The weather was looking a bit threatening, so we thought we’d throw on the annexe.
From behind, we heard a young man (and his dog Tully) welcome us, and then spent the next 30 minutes listening to Jacob and patting Tully.
This was a most enlightening and enjoyable conversation. Jacob asked us if we needed a hand; he told us his Pop knows everything about setting up vans, and more. Jacob told us about catching squid, his knowledge of birds, home schooling and his travels. He actually asked us questions; he was polite and interested … a delight.
Before recording this Campfire Conversation, I had a long chat to Gwen and Geoff (the grandparents), naturally to get their permission to talk further with Jacob.
As you will hear, life on the road and home schooling can bring some difficulties, like the ability to get a good internet connection or simply baking a cake without an oven.
Not to be beaten, Jacob (with a bit of help from Nan and Pop), found some nifty methods to help them out, including a solar oven. A cardboard solar oven, a saucepan with the handle removed, a small wire stand and some oven bags. It’s a light, fold-up unit that uses a free natural resource.
His Nan told me that Jacob is on the spectrum and had some learning difficulties, but since hitting the road, he had blossomed, and we could tell … a credit to himself and his grandparents.